Wiring Your Marketing Campaign: Go Digital with Your Client Newsletter

It’s a wired world. Have you wired your marketing campaign?

To build relationships with your clients and prospects, speak to them through the communication channels they utilize. Chances are that your target audience uses e-mail and increases its dependence on email every day. In our technology-dependent world, a marketing program is not complete without considering an Internet marketing component.

Perhaps the most effective and credible Internet marketing technique is the electronic newsletter. Insurance agents have long used newsletters to build relationships with their clients and prospects. Studies demonstrate that newsletter marketing is highly effective. More than 80 percent of respondents to a Standard & Poor’s survey of 4,000 financial service and insurance clients said they read most or some of their agent’s newsletter. Even more relevant, the survey reported that many respondents took action based on the articles they read in the newsletter, including visiting the agent’s website, giving referrals and consulting with their agent about newsletter topics.


While there are advantages to both electronic and print newsletters, one of the main reasons agents choose a digital newsletter is its cost effectiveness. E-mail newsletters require no printing or postage costs, and the capability to track and manage various aspects of an e-newsletter campaign is an attractive characteristic. With an e-newsletter you can monitor “bounce-backs” or returned e-mails, check “open rates” to see who is reading your newsletter and review “link-throughs” to track more specific components. By monitoring your e-mail campaign closely, you can maintain a solid contact list and make informed decisions about how to refine your newsletter over time to best serve your audience.


Three main components will guide the success of your e-newsletter: the distribution list, article content and newsletter design.

Defining your audience

The development of your newsletter distribution list will be an ongoing process. Since e-newsletters are database driven, updating it can be simple and instantaneous.

To develop a strong initial contact list:

· Begin with a list of individuals who have done business with you.

· Add people whom you have contacted or who have solicited information from your company, but who are not yet doing business with you.

· Solicit contacts through other marketing strategies such as advertising, sales presentations, tradeshows and website links.

· Encourage referrals by promoting the “forwarding” of your e-newsletter. Also, make sure there is a prominent “subscribe” function within the e-newsletter and on your website.

· Consider purchasing a distribution list. Lists are available for purchase, however, you should make sure to verify how the contacts were obtained and what level of permission has been granted. BY WHO TO WHO? Specifically targeted lists can often be purchased through industry associations. Remember that “spamming, ”or sending unwanted e-mails, can turn off contacts and possibly create a legal liability. Be sure that the impression of spamming is strongly avoided.

· Always have an “unsubscribe” option to allow your audience to easily opt-out of future e-newsletter issues. Doing so demonstrates your legitimacy to your subscribers.

Success by Design

Once you have your initial distribution list in place, you can create a newsletter that will appeal specifically to your designated contacts. The following characteristics comprise a successful e-newsletter:

· Inbox Recognition – Make it easy for readers to identify your newsletter in their inbox. Put the title in the “Subject:” field and make sure the “From:” field will be recognizable to the reader.

· Scheduling – Stick to a consistent distribution schedule in order to help your readers anticipate and instantly recognize your newsletter. This also helps reinforce your dependability and legitimacy.

· High-Impact Content – Provide readers with succinct, information-packed articles focused on topics of high value. This will build the trust in your relationship.

· Professional Design – Make your e-newsletter visually appealing. Short, concise articles placed in a clean and professional design will encourage readers to give your newsletter the attention it deserves. Because of the highly technical nature of designing, distributing and managing e-newsletter campaigns, a high percentage of agents contract with a professional newsletter development firm.

· Facilitate Follow-Up – Prominently display your contact information, logo and website link to maximize follow-up from your prospects.
Studies show that insurance and financial services clients and prospects find strong value in informative electronic newsletters. By following the steps outlined above, your newsletter will be a valuable, anticipated addition to your readers’ inboxes and an effective marketing technique that provides a high return on a comparably low investment.